I’m new to use the WI_FI Precision Cooker and would like to learn how to have my steak ready when I come home 10 hours later after preparing it according to the instructions before leaving home.
Based on my experiment with the device, the device keeps the same temperature after running off the timer with a constant beeping. It is not turned off or reduced to a lower temperature to keep it warm as what I expected. However, the instruction requests (1) putting the steak in the device after reaching the preheat temperature, and (2) avoiding overcook by not leaving it in the device for longer than 4 hours. It is impossible to satisfy both of the requirements under the situation. Please advise how to have the steak ready without overcooking after 10 hours.
It seems to me that there are only two alternatives: (1) placing the steak in the device with some ice or at the room temperature before leaving home and remotely start the device about 2 hours before coming home; or (2) placing the steak in the device after reaching the preheat temperature before leaving home and remotely stop the device within 2 hours.
Please advise which method is better, or any other suggestions?
There’s a good article here showing ways that you could delay your cook by using ice in your bath: http://www.amazingfoodmadeeasy.com/info/modernist-cooking-blog/more/experiments-to-determine-how-long-will-a-sous-vide-ice-bath-keep-food-safe
The two alternatives you’ve suggested would both yield a result which could likely make you very sick. If you leave meat in the “danger zone” for two hours, you really shouldn’t be eating it.
(Me, I don’t do this - I’ll use the remote capability to have the bath up to temperature when I get home - then put the food in once I’m there, or to keep tabs on a cook while I’m out) - the container I have is a larger 5.75gallon one, non-insulated.
If you are going to do the delayed ice bath thing, I would likely get a smaller insulated camp cooler, similar as shown in that article - around 2.5 gallons/10 litres insulated with a closing top - that would maximize the cooling and shorten your heating up (and the amount of time your food is in the danger zone, while it reheats).
Also a good idea to have a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) powering your PC - you don’t want your cook ruined by any momentary power outages / hiccups.
Thank you for your comments and showed me a link to AmazingFoodMadeEasy. I visited the website to learn a few valuable basic information including food safety.
You suggested avoiding leaving foods in the “danger zone,” 40°F to 130°F, for too long, and based on my Internet researches it is suggested to be less than 2 hours. I assumed the suggestions are based on (1) the foods themselves containing inactive pathogens and are not previously pasteurized; (2) exposing to air consisting of pathogens.
However, the suggestions may need to be changed for Sous Vide, SV, cooking with the following considerations:
(1) The foods are sealed, under or close, to vacuum in a plastic bag with less chances to be exposed to the air pathogens before and after cooking;
(2) During the SV cooling down process, the foods are supposed to be pasteurized. This may relax the requirement of durations by leaving them in the “danger zone” before or after cooking;
It seems to me that there are several strategies that we can cook foods safely by using WIFI SV cooking with the above considerations:
(1) Since SV cooking will pasteurize the pathogens, it is OK to start SV cooking close to the time of food consumption even without using ice to keep it cool before starting;
(2) Starting SV cooking earlier by using the lowest temperature, 130°F, with a long timer, and raise it to the desired temperature for a shorter timer before food consumption;
(3) Anova can improve the device by maintain its temperature at 130°F after the expiration of the timer, instead of maintaining the set temperature and keep giving warning beeps.
Even if you vacuum pack your food, there’s still oxygen inside the meat - allowing for spoilage if the temperature is in the danger zone - allowing harmful bacteria / organisms to multiply.
130F is the start of the high temperatures that kill these pathogens.
If you try to do a delayed cook without the aid of an ice bath…well…you’re familiar with Darwin, right?
Remember - even cooking foods at a lower than desired temperature still cooks those foods and changes them. Fats and enzymes in the meat break down and change the consistency of the meat (some have considered a 4hr SV cooked steak to kobi beef for how tender it can be). Simply raising the temperature at the end may achieve the level of doneness that you’re looking for, but the texture and flavour of the meat may be considerably different than what you were hoping for.
Always err on the side of food safety - really not worth jeopardizing your health simply for convenience.